What Are Putin's Motivations For Intervening In Crimea?
"I think the main goal is to make Ukrainians hateful to Russians, so that the Maidan is not perceived by Russians as their own experience. So that it is seen as the experience of an enemy that needs to be rejected." -- Russian political commentator Andrei Zubov
"Why did Putin do this? Because of the example of a democratic revolution in neighboring Ukraine -- where there will be lustration, the exposure of corruption, free elections. Such an example would show the population of the Russian Federation how all that can be normal." -- Russian political columnist Yevgeny Ikhlov
"The rationales that are being brought up today -- not by the president himself, but by the Federation Council and others -- are absolute lies. This is not about defending ethnic Russians in Crimea. It is a genuine attempt at an Anschluss. An attempt to take over Crimea. -- Russian opposition figure Leonid Gozman
"The crucial thing that Putin was trying to achieve in Ukraine over the past few weeks was to continue to impose a Russian veto over Ukraine's future. From the moment that Russia threatened a trade war to block [deposed Ukrainian President] Viktor Yanukovych signing an Association Agreement with the European Union to the decision to intervene in Crimea, it is all about this one thing -- it is that Ukraine can't fully have autonomous control over its own destiny." -- Ben Judah is the author of "Fragile Empire: How Russia Fell In And Out Of Love With Vladimir Putin"